It’s said repeatedly that controlling what you eat and managing your weight can help prevent and manage type-2 diabetes. But with so many contradictory sources, it can be difficult to decide just how much weight you need to lose.
According to a new study published in the Diabetic Medicine journal, extreme restrictions and lifestyle changes aren’t really needed; if patients with type-2 diabetes lose at least 10% of body weight within five years of their diagnosis, they have a significantly higher chance of their diabetes going into remission.
We should step back and try to understand what is meant by the term ‘remission’. By no means does it mean that the disease is cured – unfortunately, there is still no cure for diabetes and it can return. Diabetes remission is when a patient’s blood glucose levels are at a normal rate without having to take any form of medication to keep it low. According to Diabetes UK, HbA1c levels need to be at 48mol (6.5%) or below to be considered a remission.
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It’s well known that losing weight rapidly sends diabetes into remission, but this can cause other serious problems down the line. Setting high goals can be mentally and physically taxing on an individual; patients often may feel like failures for not losing weight fast enough. Another challenge in rapid weight loss is how to maintain that weight; research in the field suggests that slower weight loss contributed to better low weight maintenance over five years.
With these new findings, people can feel more confident about setting lower weight loss goals whilst still being able to manage their diabetes. Hajira Dambha-Miller, one of the main researchers in the study, commented that the findings will be positive for diabetic patients by showing them that diabetes can be conquered without extreme measures, which will hopefully “be more motivating and hence more achievable for many people”.
It seems to us that research on diabetes management field is taking some important strides and we will continue to follow the latest developments!